ABSTRACT

Let me return to the suggestion that philosophy should be seeking to transcend those modes of thinking whose limitations preclude one from achieving an adequate conception of things. Certainly, it has been intrinsic to the approach I have followed that some such aim be fulfilled. For I have sought to expose the distortions which find expression in certain ways of conceiving of the relation between, on the one hand, things in themselves and, on the other hand, ideas or concepts. The distortions in question stem from the metaphysical framework presupposed by the positions under attack – a framework which involves the imposition of an insurmountable distinction between things in themselves and the realm revealed in our ideas or concepts. It is a consequence of accepting this framework that one is compelled to oscillate between the equally unsatisfactory and mutually exclusive alternatives it yields. According to these alternatives, things in themselves must be either ever inaccessible to the realm which is revealed in our concepts or reduced to materials which do not themselves add up to genuine things.